This recipe is from my very own mother at Conscious Vitality – every time I visit her she has jars of kombucha all over her kitchen bench (along with sprouts and nuts soaking in water). When you open her fridge you’ll probably be greeted by a SCOBY which isn’t the tastiest looking thing to keep!
So what exactly is kombucha? Essentially it is a fermented tea. It’s an ancient Chinese beverage, and despite being the latest “fad” in the West, it’s actually ben around for over 2000 years.
Sarah Wilson at IQS has written this great blog post of reasons to drink kombucha including, eliminating grey hairs, increasing sex drive, detoxifying the body, and of course contributing to good gut health.
Thanks to my mum, I got my hands on a SCOBY and started my own kombucha. It’s so easy to do, and you can pass on the love by giving one of your SCOBYs to a friend. If you’re starting out and don’t know anyone with a SCOBY you can buy one off eBay!
You’ll need the following:
- 1 wide mouth jar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 2 – 3 teabags
- 1 cup of boiling water (not distilled or reverse osmosis filtered)
- 1 SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) also known as the Mother or Mushroom
- approx. 3.5 cups room temp water
Dissolve the sugar in approx. 1/2 cup of boiling water, adding the teabags. Leave it to cool to room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
Remove the teabags and add 3.5 cups of room temperature water. Add 1/2 cup previous kombucha tea and then slip in the SCOBY. Cover with a mesh cloth and leave somewhere out of direct sunlight to sit and ferment for approx 8 days (do not disturb it). I use an old stocking that I cut to fit and secure with an elastic band.
During this time your SCOBY will start to reproduce, forming a translucent thin skin that will form on the top. After 8 days (taste to check for personal preference, as due to the weather it can go from 6-12 days, but the longer you leave it the more fermented the taste) remove the SCOBY (x2) and 1 cup of the kombucha. Put this kombucha and SCOBY into a sealed jar and leave it in the fridge for future batches. Each time you brew a batch of kombucha, a new scoby will grow. You can re-use the old one and pass the new one on to someone else to start them.
Now that your kombucha is ready, add some flavour of your choice (research what flavours cannot be used, ie: citrus cannot be used in the initial fermentation process but can be used as a flavour).
Flavouring your kombucha is up to your imagination, there’s an endless amount of flavour combinations you could try but here are some of our favourites:
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla and cinnamon to taste
- 2-3 passionfruit (my go to flavour)
- Defrost raspberries and juice 1 apple (this tastes like the red frog lollies)
- Chai tea (2 teaspoons or to taste)
- Juice 1 apple and 1 apple cut up
- 2 pears juiced
- Mashed plums or nectarines
Seal with a lid and leave it to absorb the flavours for two days. Alternatively you can enjoy the taste of the fermented tea as it is, unflavoured. Strain the tea and pour into a sealed bottle and keep refrigerated.
Avoid using metal as it can affect the flavour and weaken the SCOBY over time.
Kathie is a Wholistic Nutrition Advisor. She is passionate about helping others feel the best they can by treating the whole person, and not just one symptom. She offers a wholistic approach to nutrition and works with her clients to make changes that may otherwise feel daunting. She offers workshops and consultations, both in person and via Skype. Kathie’s website Conscious Vitality also has more healthy recipes.